Together We Are Avondale: June ’17

In June, we had an internal Together we are Avondale planning day and a couple of other catch ups around that. The main aims were to take stock of what we’d achieved so far and to make sure our next actions were in line with the project’s overarching outcomes.

Our Advisory Group established these outcomes late-2016 and with them in mind, the next projects we’re focused on are the following:

  • An asset map – creating a directory and/or map showing all of the facilities and services available in Avondale
  • A newsletter – this will become a key source of up-to-date local news and information
  • A monthly events calendar – an interactive calendar capturing and promoting one-off public events

While planning for these projects is happening behind the scenes, we’ve also been continuing to work on Feed the Streets. Late-June we had a trial run which acted as an opportunity to work alongside our volunteers and get a better idea of how the night could/should function. The trial was successful in terms of our processes and it was great to establish that we can comfortably cater for up to 40 people.

However, of the 35+ people in attendance all were interested volunteers and none were streeties. Ironically (and sadly), there was a young guy sleeping right outside the venue. He couldn’t be woken from a deep sleep and going by the dime bag and can cone beside him he was probably out of it so Lays left him a container of food instead. A crew of window washers at the Ash St/Rosebank lights and the guys from ACES were invited as well, but none turned up. As a result, we’ve had a few discussions around ensuring the space we create has the right vibe, how to reach more of our vulnerable people and how to motivate the ones that are aware of us to come – for example, is the venue, day or time appropriate?

In June I also met with a few local people keen to contribute to FTS in some way. The Avondale Baptist Church has expressed interest in potentially preparing the food for us and musician Tom Scott has offered to volunteer on some meal nights, and also to use his platform for a food drive. It’s been really encouraging having the support of our community and collaboration is key to FTS being an ongoing success.

There has also been progress on the development of the old 3 Guys site in the town centre, which is being led by the NPT with support from Community Waitakere and others. Two shipping containers donated by Ports of Auckland have been placed onsite and the plan is to have a gym inside one, with the other being used as a community workshop space. There has also been a planning meeting and discussions online about what people would like to see in the space. You can read the discussions stimulated by I Love Avondale here and here.